The U18 AAA female Interlake Lightning's season is complete. 

The squad was swept in the first round of the Manitoba Female U18 AAA Hockey League playoffs by the Winnipeg Ice. Despite the loss, all the games were competitive (final scores of 2-1, 3-1, and 4-1) and showed that the Lightning were better than their 4-21-3 record stated.

Goaltender Rachel Halldorson says they worked extremely hard in the best-of-five series and learned what to expect in the playoffs going forward.

"I think that we all just have to put in 100 per cent effort. Nobody can give up," Halldorson explains. "It was a tough series but we did good."

Arborg's Brooke Barylski led the team in points this year with 26, and Warren product Tessa Stewart finished the year as the team's leader in goals with 14. Veronica Asquith of Gimli ended the year as the Lightning's top-scoring defenceman with 20 points.

The Lundar native, Halldorson, picked up eight wins in net and a 0.913 save percentage.

While Stewart, Asquith, and defenceman Kylee Emms-Finnsson (16 points in 2022-23) will all be graduating from the program, the rest of the roster will be eligible to return next season.

With such a young roster, Halldorson believes there was a lot to take away from a season like this.

"I think (we learned) to just go out there and be you," Halldorson continues. "Play for yourself, play for your team, and never give up. When you do that for a full 60 minutes, the score will come out in your favour."

Halldorson is one of the top goalie prospects in Manitoba as she is currently in Prince Edward Island as one of the two female netminders representing Team Manitoba in the Canada Winter Games. She is happy with how far she came this year but notes she has a lot of room to continue growing next season.

"My goal, first off, is to make the team once again. If I get the opportunity to play with this team again, I want to be more of a leader and help the team out a bit more off and on the ice," Halldorson shares. "I want to be that person that helps push everybody and keeps everyone going at 100 per cent."

Halldorson and the U20 Team Manitoba women's hockey team will play their first game at the Canada Winter Games today against Ontario.